I don’t know if you’ve been losing sleep about the state of current affairs like I have, but I hope you continue to find sparks of optimism in your days.
I have been thinking about the story of the little boy who is walking along the beach with thousands and thousands of dying, beached starfish. He is picking them up, one at a time, and throwing them back into the ocean. A man tells him not to bother. His efforts don’t matter. He will never save all the starfish. The little boy says, “It matters to the ones I can save.”
There are lots of charitable & religious organizations, government programs, and individuals focused on helping animals, the planet, and people when they are suffering. This work is critical and I am grateful for all these efforts.
MaineShare organizations are groups that are trying to stop whatever it is that is causing those starfish to end up dying on the beach (as well as a myriad of other suffering.) This work is equally critical, but results take time and at times like these, it may seem like all we can do is throw a few starfish back in the ocean.
However, hope springs eternal when we stay connected to others who are doing this long-term work. I attended the retirement party for the long-time leader of Friends of Casco Bay, a MaineShare member, this week and I was reminded about how important good leadership is to building the relationships, strategies, and movements that create long-term, positive change. Cathy Ramsdell was lauded for her commitment to building broad coalitions and empowering staff to become leaders in their own right. Because of the diverse groups of individuals Friends of Casco Bay was able to attract to their mission, they have been incredibly effective in moving public policies over the past 30 years that protect and improve the health of the Bay.
Another MaineShare member group, MOFGA, just celebrated their fiftieth anniversary. Because of their leadership, Maine has had an outsized role in the organic movement. MOFGA is preparing to host their iconic Common Ground Country Fair in-person September 24-26. Tickets need to be purchased ahead of time to reduce congestion and they are monitoring the COVID situation to ensure a safe environment. We encourage you to take MOFGA’s advice and “Visit Maine’s most extensive agricultural fairgrounds – complete with a working organic farm, sustainably managed woodlot, organic orchards and demonstration gardens – and hundreds of exhibitors, activities, dances, music and Maine organic foods that make this fair unique.”
Sarah Nichols of member group, NRCM, was recently quoted in a New York Times article about Maine’s newly passed Extended Producer Responsibility Act. NRCM has been part of a broad coalition working hard for at least two years to make this a reality.
But as you know, MaineShare members work on many fronts. These are just three examples of MaineShare members making a difference for the environment. MaineShare’s five areas of focus (Economic Opportunity; The Environment; Safety & Health; Education, Arts & Culture; Social Justice & Peace) feature 40 organizations working to make Maine a more just, equitable, and healthy place.
Read more from our fabulous members below & get involved if you can. I guarantee, you WILL FEEL BETTER!